DT 28772 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28772

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28772

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Mighty Argentina 0 – 3 Little Croatia. How we laughed. How we cheered. It just goes to show that sometimes football can be enjoyed.

Thanks to Giovanni for keeping the difficulty level down on a day when I am standing in for Deep Threat who must be fed up with abroad by now and ready to come home.

Hints and Tips are provided by a well-meaning Miffypops who didn’t see the puzzle until he woke up this morning. Answers lie beneath the click here boxes. Definitions are underlined. If anything is not clear, please ask. The rapid response unit that makes up this happy community will rapidly respond.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    Enchanted — and about to get hurt (7)
CHARMED: Begin with the Latin abbreviation for about. Add the past participle of a verb meaning to be hurt

7a    Preface for this writer written retrospectively (5)
PROEM: Place a three-lettered word meaning for, (the opposite of con). Add the reverse (written retrospectively) of the personal pronoun that depicts today’s puzzle setter

9a    Duck when escort gets hit (6)
SCOTER: Anagram (gets hit) of ESCORT

10a    Article about group of people in the middle of Russia, Muslims (8)
SARACENS: Place a version of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound around the letter A from the clue and a word synonymous with a group of people or a nation. Wrap the two middle letters of the word Russia around what you have. An insertion clue. Put something inside something inside something

11a    Detected journalist’s halo maybe! (10)
DISCOVERED: Split 4,4,2 we have an example of what a halo is in shape. A word meaning above and our usual senior journalist.

13a    Place of bitterness not keeping quiet (4)
SITE: Find a word meaning bitterness and remove the letter that denotes quiet in musical notation

14a    Flexing muscle, sire is carrying one powerful weapon (6,7)
CRUISE MISSILE: Anagram (flexing) of MUSCLE SIRE IS and the letter that looks like the number one

16a    Fool cuts material short (4)
CLOT: Find a word that means material generally (woven or felted fabric made from wool, cotton, or a similar fibre) and remove its final letter (cut short)

17a    William Brown’s friend mad for biscuits (6,4)
GINGER NUTS: William Brown is the main character in the Just William series of books by Richmal Crompton which are still in print today even though their author died nearly fifty years ago. We need the name of one of his gang which were known as the Outlaws. Add a word meaning mad to find a popular biscuit

19a    Unmarried female writer having time wasted (8)
MISSPENT: Begin with an unmarried female. Add what you might be writing with. Add the abbreviation for time.

20a    Notice old politicians making off-the-cuff comments (2-4)
AD-LIBS: Use the shortened form of advertisement (notice) add some old abbreviated and plural politicians of the Jeremy Thorpe era.

22a    Superficial brightness of hospital noticed on the outside (5)
SHEEN: Start with the abbreviation for hospital and wrap around the outside of this a word meaning noticed

23a    Son gets box — one greedy for chocolates, maybe? (7)
SCOFFER: Start with the abbreviation for son. Add a strong box or chest for keeping valuables


1d    Stay to hear Terry who was held hostage (4)
WAIT: A soundalike clue based upon a chap who worked for The Archbishop of Canterbury back in the nineteen eighties and whose name deserves better than to be used in a crossword puzzle in this way. Sorry setter. I am not impressed

2d    Independent politician travels here and there for rallies (8)
IMPROVES: Use three abbreviations that signify independent politicians. Add the plural of a verb meaning to travel endlessly with no destination

3d    Sort of town Communist liberated (6)
SPARED: A type of town such as Leamington, Droitwich or Woodhall is placed before our usual term for a communist

4d    Study period said to be right (10)
CONCESSION: A two-part charade. A word meaning to study or read up on followed by a homophone (said) of a period of time devoted to a particular activity. Training for example Thanks to Rabbit Dave for pointing out an error earlier.

5d    Plants needing some drastic action (5)
CACTI: A hidden word (some) hidden amongst the words of the clue

6d    Rebellious minister is cad and is prejudiced (13)
DISCRIMINATES: Anagram (rebellious) of MINISTER IS CAD

8d    Marine creature mum has eaten — horrible! (7)
MANATEE: Begin with an informal term for your mother and add an anagram (horrible) of EATEN

12d    Ladies keep a tally of letters, we hear (10)
COUNTESSES: Split 5,5 How we might keep a tally followed how we say and would spell the plural of a particular letter A’s, B’s C’s won’t work. Go through the alphabet to see what might.

14d    Underground workers not given right dogs (7)
COLLIES: Remove the letter R (not given right) from a coal miner (underground worker)

15d    Designer, the female artist leading French fashion (8)
SHERATON: This designer of furniture can be found by using a female pronoun, an member of The Royal Academy and a noun meaning either fashionable society or fashionable style or distinction

17d    Author sounding fresh (6)
GREENE: The author of Travels With My Aunt sounds young and inexperienced

18d    Mount or hill in which sailor is buried (5)
TABOR: Two crosswordland favourites unite here. A hill and a sailor. Place the able-bodied seaman inside (is buried) the hill. A hill such as Mam in Derbyshire for example. Or Cox and Fox on Dartmoor.

21d    Biography, story about France’s leader (4)
LIFE: The story here is an untruth. Place it around the leading letter of the word France

Considering how I used to struggle on Friday’s to complete a puzzle this one went in with very few passes. I think it is at the easier end of the scale used by Giovanni. Explaining clues for several years has sharpened my solving skills. Beware of Big Dave’s Crossword Site. Your solving times will reduce significantly leaving more time for mischief.

Quickie Pun. Beam+Oddest=Be Modest


47 comments on “DT 28772

  1. 2* / 2*. Nothing either to frighten or to excite the horses today. 7a & 18d were new for me but readily derivable from the wordplay.

    MP, your hint for 4d needs amending. The definition is simply “right”; the “said” indicates a homophone of a word for “period”.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. What was I thinking. I’m sitting outside The Blue Pug in Wolvey waiting for lunch. Life is a blast.

  2. A steady puzzle today, fortunately I remembered the Terry in question. Quite liked 11a, and ‘proem’ was new to me (as far as I can recall). If anyone hasn’t heard MP’s Dylan clip for today give it a listen. A fantastic protest song.

  3. Likewise for 7a & 18d , new words .

    Favourites 10a & 17a , clever in separate ways .

    Enjoyed but first run through was not productive ., ***/*** from me .

    Thanks to everyone .

  4. Another good puzzle from G, not his most difficult but still a reasonable challenge with good clues and an enjoyable solve. Just about best of the week for me. Fav: 18d, I only knew the answer as a drum. 3* / 3.5*

  5. Slow start but came through in the end with the orient presenting fewer problems than the occident. 7a and 8d new to me. Fav 12d. Thanks Giovanni and MP.

    1. That explains why I couldn’t find it after saving it. I had to involve Saint Sharon.

  6. After a very enjoyable day on the golf course, on a glorious first day of summer, raising money for a worthy cause this is just what I needed. Apparently, my brain did not get fried by the 30 degree temperature and I was able to solve the puzzle at a fast gallop – */****.

    Candidates for favourite – 17a (although I did have to use Google to refresh my knowledge of Just William), 20a, and 12d – and the winner is 12d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and GMoLI.

  7. Not too taxing but fine for a lazy day,a **/*** for me.
    Like others ,two new words-must commit to memory for next time!
    Failed to parse 10a-thanks MP and William’s, surname-liked the clue when I remembered his best friend.
    Beautiful day in Cheshire-off to Anglesey next week on a red squirrel hunt-with a camera.
    Thanks all.

  8. Entirely agree with the comment on 1d.
    Terry Waite deserves better than this.

  9. Entertaining puzzle. I love to learn new words, 7a and 18d, especially when they can be worked out. **/****. I remembered Terry, which was helpful. 23a was funny. Runners-up medals for the new words. I cannot separate 10a and 11a for top spot, so they are tied. Nice one, Don.

  10. ***/***. I found this more difficult than most but once I got into the setters method all went well. Like others 7a was new to me but a very fair clue. Thanks to the setter and MP – I have found a pub in Vancouver that does a very good liver bacon and onions. The landlord is from Liverpool and a staunch Evertonian.

      1. Hello from me too LizzieN. Thanks for commenting. I only used the two photos because I felt the review was short on illustration. They are nothing to do with the clue. Only the answer and then not a lot to do with the answer either.

  11. Started well then gradually came to a halt and found this a lot more tricky than most of the early birds on the blog. SE corner last to fall with 13a the final one in. Needed help from BRB to solve 8d, also 15d needed electronic help, and last in 13a was a “bung in” that required MP help to parse it. So not a walk in the park for me and I thought an average Giovanni puzzle. Reckon 12d was a brilliant clue, 7a also new to me BRB again to the rescue.

    Clue of the day: Obviously 12d

    Rating: 3.5* / 2.5*

    Thanks to MP and Giovanni

  12. I enjoyed the puzzle but had a very slow finish in the NE corner. Completely on the wrong track for a long while with 3d and 4d which made the new word in 7a difficult despite fairness of clue.

    17a my definite favourite.

  13. Almost a gentle end to the week which is unusual I must say! No real favourite but a pleasure to complete.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to MP.

  14. Not sure that DT can ever be fed up with France. Well fed would be more appropriate.
    Talking about food, liver should only be calve’s and served with Alsace bacon and creamed polenta. Confit onions are also welcome.
    Having given up on the toughie, I concentrated on the back page and the solve went very smoothly.
    Thanks to the Don and to MP for the review.

  15. Shot myself in the foot with spelling 4d incorrectly, hence never solved 10a.
    I loved 17a, my fave books as a child. Remember Elithabeth Bott? “I’ll thcweam and thcweam till I’m thick””.
    There were so many candidates for fave, hard to choose; though 12d certainly deserves honourable mention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and M’pops for a fun start to the day.

  16. If it hadn’t been for three clues in the East, I wouldn’t have known this was a DG production.
    Hadn’t appreciated the connection between Muslims and 10a – one for the memory bank.

    No particular favourite but I do hope Kath pops in later to smile over 14d.

    Thanks to DG and to MP for extra duties.

  17. Found this one more difficult than most people seem to have, but got there is the end. So a hurrah today.

    Had not heard of 7a before, but it had to be that. Had to check on the duck too. It was a distant memory from crosswords long gone .

    Spent the rest of today after solving this wrestling with trying to connect the ‘old’ printer to the desktop as the ‘new’ printer was not working well. Abject failure . Gave up. Astonishingly, managed to get the ‘new’ printer hooked up properly again and, clearly having had time to think about what it had done, it is now working fine.
    I’m too old to waste days like this.

    Thanks to Miffypops and to the setter.

  18. Despite thinking that 10a was what it was, I wouldn’t fill it in. It didnt fit with my 4d. That’s because my 4d was wrong. Merusa, you’re not on your own. I too feel a 16a. Many thanks to The Don, and to Miffypops. My local Italian does a terrific liver and sage dish.

  19. What an absolute pleasure this puzzle proved to be. Fridays are usually my favourite day but this well exceeded expectations. **/*****

  20. I started slowly – my first answer in was 14ac, and from then on it felt like a slow, steady solve. I was surprised to find at the close then that I’d finished in * time, so definitely on the easy side. Enjoyable throughout, with only 9ac unfamiliar today.

  21. 7a was one we had to think hard about and it was good to be reminded about the 17a characters.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and MP.

  22. NE corner was tricky for me but I still don’t really understand 4d. I get the study part and the homophone but can’t see why the answer is what it is . Is at meant to mean right? If so a right would be fairer or am I nit picking.

    1. The answer is the mount in Israel. The sailor is an AB (able bodied seaman) inside a tor (hill).

    2. Thanks,I had the right answer but I hadnt heard of the mountain. I am now the wiser.

  23. Funny one for me. I breezed through all but four which I thought I would not get. I had to check the duck but it sounded familiar. Then I had three in the NE. Took me as long or longer than all the others. 8d rang a distant bell. 7a was last in. Never heard of it but built it up and checked in the dictionary. Only found I had circled two favourites 17a and 14d. Thanks setter and MP

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